James Cracknell breaks British indoor rowing marathon record

The double Olympic champion will attempt to break his age group’s British indoor rowing marathon record LIVE on Saturday 13 June

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Congratulations to James on beating the indoor rowing marathon British Record for Heavyweight 40-49 Men with a time of 2:30.37 – read more about the challenge below and watch the race back above.


In association with British Rowing, Mizuno and Concept2, James Cracknell will be attempting to break the British Record for Heavyweight 40-49 Men this Saturday at 09.30 (BST). The attempt is in aid of Headway – the brain injury association – and will be streamed live here on the British Rowing website.

In Cracknell’s own words: “Lockdown has been a powerful reminder to us all of how important exercise is – not only for our physical but also our mental health. When I was recovering from a serious head injury, exercise was the only thing I could control and see progress in. Along with Headway’s amazing support it helped me through some very dark times. The phenomenal work Headway does for victims of head injuries and their families is ongoing and underfunded, so please help me to give something back to them so they can continue their selfless work.”

On the weekend when the British Rowing Masters Championships was due to take place, the challenge will see Cracknell attempt to set a new record marathon time for his own age group. The existing record, set by David Gillard earlier this year, stands at 2:32:55.8 – a split time of 1:48.7/500m.

Speaking on the nature of the challenge itself, Cracknell said: “I haven’t ever really done any training on the rowing machine specifically for the rowing machine – all my training in the past has focused on making the boat go faster, so it’s been a really interesting process training for this challenge. It’s quite a different rhythm that you’re rowing in these circumstances, so I’ve had to learn that as well. It’s amazing how quickly the improvements come with a structured programme to follow though!”

“I know I have years of rowing experience under my belt, but aside from training for the 2019 Boat Race I haven’t consistently trained for rowing since the 2004 Olympics. Despite my experience I am surprised at how quickly the power endurance came back. What I struggled to do for an hour eight weeks ago, I now consider an easy session. In this case you can teach an old dog new tricks and it’s a lesson that we can all set a challenging target – but we need to plot a plan to get there.”

“One trick this old dog needs to learn is not to go off too hard and blow up.”

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How to follow along
  • The record attempt will be livestreamed on the British Rowing website from 09.30 (BST) on Saturday 13 June, 2020
  • You can also head to the British Rowing Instagram for additional footage of the attempt, plus the opportunity to message in your support and send questions for James to answer during his record attempt

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